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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

In March He-Man and I went to Pismo Beach to celebrate our 36th Wedding Anniversary which you can read a little about here.  After unpacking and wandering around the hotel grounds we decided to stay close and have dinner at Ventana Grill which was right next door to our hotel. We could have drinks with dinner and not worry about getting back to our room; we could just walk.  The menu looked really good, and the dinning room was filling up when we arrived.

We ordered cocktails, and took them out to the balcony to watch the sea and talk while we waited for our table.  Blue Moon for him, and a Margarita on the Rocks w/salted rim for me.

Drinks on the Balcony Ventana Grill

Dinner:  It’s Latin American Seafood fare here. We ordered a meal in a stone pot. It came with Crab legs, clams, white fish chunks, a Ginormous pepper that He-Man liked, and shrimp, and the sides were rice, beans…

Molecajete Ventana Grill

…and corn tortillas made right there on site.  They were so tender, and tasty!

Making Tortillas Fresh

We entered through a side glass door that was pretty ho-hum, boring, but we left…nearly had to be rolled out; we were so fat from dinner through the lobby where there were more tables, and a wall displaying vintage surf boards.  I like the hanging lamps as much as the surfboards. 🙂

Vintage Surf Boards Ventana Grill

We exited the entrance doors, and the waiter called us to come back b/c He-man had forgot to pick up his credit card. That’s only happened twice! It was a pretty tall Blue Moon, and I like to think he was distracted by me. (Fluttering eyelashes coquettishly) Anyway,  🙂 I waited outside and when we turned around to see and engage the waiter about the card look what I saw.

Vintana Grill Entry Doors

The waiter, He-Man, and those doors couldn’t get out of my way and close fast enough for me and my camera to start framing and making images! There were a couple of other couples  entering I had to wait for too. 🙂

This venue really checked off a lot of our boxes…beach, rose pedals on the bed, a bottle of wine in the room, a gorgeous sunset, a fantastic dinner, a quiet room, comfy bed, plenty of cuddle time, late check out, and even Doors! 🙂

This anniversary week-end is going down as one of the best in our years together.

This post is part of Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors.  If you love doors and would like to see the doors others are posting, or post doors you’ve photographed and join other door lovers from around the world click here.

At the end of Norm’s latest Thursday Door post is a little Blue Link-up/View button click it to be taken to a page with all the links to view all the posts, and add your own if you’re a door enthusiast too.

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any food images so… this Hen was tender and juicy.  It’s a super easy meal to make, and since it’s a one pan meal clean up is quick.

Serve it with a salad, and some good bread.

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables and Herb Butter

Ingredients:

1 4-5 lb Hen-

1 bag baby carrots, or 2-3 whole carrots cut up

2-3 potatoes- cut up I used russet

3-4 cloves of garlic- I left mine whole w/skin on

1 onion cut into wedges

1 lemon cut into wedges

Rosemary, Sage, and Basil mince enough to make a mixture of 4-6 tablespoons.

3TBS Butter – room temperature

salt and pepper

Olive Oil- enough to lightly coat the vegetables

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Rinse and pat dry the Hen.  Salt and Pepper both the cavity and outer skin.

Next mince the rosemary, sage, and basil. In a small bowl add the minced herbs and butter. Mix with fork until well combined.

Cut lemon, and onion into wedges set aside.  Smear half the butter mixture into the cavity of the Hen.  With the remaining butter mixture rub some under the breast skin being careful not to tear the skin, and rub some on the outer skin of the Hen.

Add a wedge or two of lemon and onion into the cavity then truss the bird, or tie the legs and set aside.  My trussing is all wrong! And, I don’t know how to tuck the wings correctly either.  But, whatever works right. 🙂 

Clean and peel the carrots, potatoes, and garlic. Cut the carrots and potatoes into bite size pieces. Mince, chop, or leave the garlic cloves whole.  Put all the vegetables into a roasting pan.  Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables, salt and pepper lightly then mix until all the vegetables are lightly coated with the olive oil.

Place the Hen in the roasting pan then put it into the oven.

Roast uncovered for 20 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 400 degrees and cook for additional 40 minutes stirring the vegetables now and then.

A hen this size will take anywhere from 1 hour to 1h15m to cook. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees.

Rest for a few minutes then serve.  Option:  make gravy with the pan juices while the bird rests.

Are you hungry yet? 🙂

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| High ISO (1600) cause I hand-held it without additional lighting and I thought I could manage it sans a tripod| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After shooting water drops and splashes last week-end I went back to some images I made back in 2014 of splashes that I made using milk and raspberries.

Here’s one that has been languishing on my hard-drive since Spring of 2014.

Raspberry & Cream II

Timing this was really hard, and I’ve been wanting to try it again.  I went through a whole package of raspberries during this shoot because after dropping them into the milk over, and over again they began absorbing the milk and sank rather than come back to the top to be part of the splash which is what I wanted to photograph.  Who knew!

I cleaned up the shadows a bit, and removed some far flung drops that were blurry in post development.

Nikon D700| AF Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D @ f20| 1/160sec| ISO 400| Manual Priority| Matrix Met| Tripod

Strobist- SB910 @ 1/25th pwr, camera right low front 75º angle, Triggered via Commander Mode in camera

More to come…

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

We had a lovely Christmas. We slept til 8:00 AM which was so nice. When the kids were little they were up well before dawn poking around. This year my daughter, son-in-law, and new Grandson spent the night with my son-in-law’s  parents so they arrived at our house mid-morning. We opened presents, had breakfast and spent the rest of the morning/afternoon being slugs.

I was off the hook for dinner this year. We were invited to my son-in-law’s parents for dinner. I only needed to take dessert. Easy! I took a pumpkin pie, and apple pie. They were a nice end to Marilyn’s fabulously delicious Italian dinner…I should say feast.

When we arrived Marilyn had the table laid; it was festive, and reminded me of my Mother’s Christmas table setting.

Marilyn's Christmas Table

There were before dinner hors d’oeuvres. My favorite was a Corn dip. I don’t know what besides corn is in it, but it’s really good. I need to get the recipe. We ate it with tortilla chips:

Corn Dip

Little Jaxon made the rounds meeting some relatives for the first time since coming home. Here is he with his Great Uncle Don, and Great Aunt Steph.  Jaxon is in for a lot of good times and laughs when Uncle Don is around. He’s funny!

The Greatest Aunt Steph and Uncle Don

Aunt Rhianna, Uncle Ben, and cousin Maci were there too:

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Jaxon eventually made it back to his Mommy, and his Daddy was nearby.

John Allie and Jaxon Christmas 2012

The aromas emanating from Marilyn’s kitchen were making my stomach rumble.  There’s nothing like a home filled with the great aromas of a home cooked meal about to be served. On the menu were:

Lamb Osso bucco, Chicken cacciatore, a spinach salad with pecans, and pomegranate, all tossed with a light dressing,  fresh steamed broccoli on the side, and no Italian meal is complete without pasta. It was paired nicely with a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Moscato wine.  Oh, and Mother’s milk for Jaxon.

Both the chicken and the lamb were so tender; they fell off the bone at the slightest touch of a fork tine.

Marilyn's Chicken Cacciatore

Lamb Osso Bucco, Chicken and Pasta

Our lovely Hostess Marilyn:

Marilyn_0829Thank you so much for a wonderful meal, great conversation, and your warm hospitality! I’ll be dieting the rest of the week.

Marilyn, I’m serious, come for New Year’s Dinner and share our family tradition with us!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and were blessed to spend it with those you love.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 50mm AF-D| SB600 Speedlight

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.
A photo from the archives.

T, DD, G, and I went to Brunch at Absinthe Brasserie, and Bar in San Francisco before heading to downtown to photograph Union Square, and then meet-up with our Night group for some Night photography.

I had the Croc Monsieur. It was delicious. Toasted levain bread, with thin sliced Black Forest ham, smothered in melted Gruyère, some Dijon mustard, béchamel, mixed greens.
The restaurant opened at 11:00am we there a few minutes after 11 and there was already a 30-40 minute wait for walk-ins. We ate at the bar.

Nikon D300s|Nikkor 17-35mm @ 20mm| f2.8| 1/13second| ISO 400| Manual Mode| Hand-held

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

We stopped on the way to Mt. Shasta in downtown Vacaville. A cute little town square that I would love to have had time to do a Photowalk in…we stopped for lunch at a little Taqueria. I didn’t get the name of it!
Harrison is it your local? What’s the name of it? I met Harrison there. A pianist, and composer of movie scores.
This was the vegetarian burrrrito. With lots of salsa, and Echabache (sp)
I ate nearly the whole thing so it turned out to be lunch and dinner for me.

PP- Vibrance, clarity, a bit of recovery, and slight crop then resized.

Nikon D90
Nikkor 18-200mm VR 3.5-5.6 AF-S

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